Fruit Tree
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81. Fruit Tree
Revelation 22.1-2

"Then the angel showed me the crystal clear water of life river, flowing from God and the Lamb's throne, down the middle of the city's great street. On the riverside stood the tree of life, bearing twelve fruit crops, yielding its fruit monthly. And the tree's leaves are for the nations' healing." (Revelation 22.1-2) ✞

Garden of Eden

Garden of EdenThe Revelation "Tree of Life" or "fruit tree" reminds us of the "Garden of Eden's Tree of Life." The Garden of Eden is also called "God's Garden" or the "Terrestrial Paradise." In Genesis 2.8-9, we read of the Biblical paradise, "Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow from the ground. Trees are pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the 'Life Tree' and the 'Knowledge of Good and Evil Tree.'" Ezekiel 31.8-9, also mentions Eden's trees in God's garden, "Assyria, once a Lebanon cedar, with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest." "I made it beautiful with abundant branches, the envy of all Eden's trees in God's Garden."

The World Tree

After Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed God by eating from the "Knowledge of Good and Evil Tree," they were prohibited from the "Life Tree," which grew alongside it. God denied Adam and Eve eternal life while under sin's control. The "Life Tree" may be related to an ancient mythical belief in a "World Tree," portrayed as a gigantic tree supporting the heavens and connecting earth, sky, and underworld by its branches and roots. In Revelation 22, garden residents eat freely from the new "Life Tree." Their eternity with God is secure through Jesus Christ. Those who eat from the "Life Tree" live forever.

The Genesis Paradise

GenesisRevelation closes off human history in paradise as the Book of Genesis opened it there. But one distinct difference in Revelation is that all evil is gone forever. "Paradise" from the Persian word for "paradise garden" means a "timeless harmony place." It is a picture of perfect harmony before the Fall, which God will restore in the coming world. Genesis describes Adam and Eve walking and talking with God, but Revelation speaks of believers worshiping God face-to-face. What a wonder that will be! ✞

First Fake News

ParadiseGenesis pictures an evil serpent in the garden. The deceiving Satan suggests the lie that what God calls terrible is, in fact, good. It is the first recorded instance of "fake news!" Genesis 3.1 explains, "Now the serpent was craftier than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, 'Did God say, "You must not eat from any garden tree?"'" Revelation, in contrast, portrays paradise as a perfect place with no evil whatsoever. Gardens delight the eye and the "Life Tree" nourishes God's people. Sin destroyed Eden's Garden, but Revelation envisions a perfect Eden's Garden re-created in heaven's New Jerusalem.

Flowing Healing Waters

Flowing WaterThe name "Eden" derives from the Akkadian "edinnu," meaning "plain" or "steppe," and is closely related to an Aramaic root word meaning "fruitful and well-watered." This description ties in nicely with the "Revelation fruit tree" and the "Life Tree," or the "Tree of Life." Another interpretation associates the name with a Hebrew word for "pleasure." The Latin Vulgate translates "garden in Eden" in Genesis 2.8 with the wording, "and the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure." Flowing water symbolizes eternity, and this water flows out from God's throne down the New Jerusalem high street. When looking for good water to drink, it was always wise to draw it from a fast-flowing section of the stream rather than a pond. The Life Tree grows next to the River of Life, producing healing leaves and food for the nations forever. Jesus uses this water imagery in John 4.14 when he says to the Samaritan Woman, "whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them wells up in them as eternal life's water spring." Jesus today offers us God's life fullness and completely satisfies our spiritual thirst. John of Patmos emphasizes that flowing water produces health and strength wherever it goes. This water imagery is used again in Revelation when Jesus Christ invites people to drink "Life's Water." We cannot earn salvation, for God gives it freely. We live in a desperately thirsty world crying out for living water, where many are dying of thirst. Let us invite others to come and drink the satisfying "Life's Water." ✞

Healing in Heaven

Healing LeavesSome people ask why the nations need healing leaves from the Revelation fruit tree if all evil in heaven is gone. However, Revelation 22.2b clearly says, "And the trees' leaves are for the nations' healing." John of Patmos is alluding to Ezekiel 47.12, "fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both river banks. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit because the sanctuary water flows to them. Their fruit will serve as food and their leaves for healing." The fruit is "for food." Leaves from the Tree of Life are for healing. The water of life is for thirst.

Miraculous Mineral Waters

Man on the Dead SeaA man was walking along the Dead Sea shore, the world's lowest point at 978 feet below sea level. Losing his balance, he fell headlong into the lake. Not being able to swim, he thrashed his arms around and shouted for help for all he was worth. But not a soul was in sight, and he thought that he would drown. He splashed and paddled as best he could, but as time went by, he eventually tired. When he could manage it no more, he resigned himself to a watery grave. Then, the miracle of miracles, as he relaxed, he found that he wasn't sinking after all! The mineral-laden water was so full of natural salts that his body bobbed to the surface. All he had to do was to let go and relax! All we need to discover in the Lord God's service is how to relax and trust him entirely, like the miracle mineral water. When God's Son, Jesus Christ, lives and reigns in us, we can know that he will not fail us if we only trust him.

"Fruit Tree"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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